Jason Fuller Memorial Ride brings in over $33K for Tallapoosa Girls Ranch

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, April 13, 2022

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LaFAYETTE — This past Friday evening the Jason Fuller Memorial Ride Group presented a check in the amount of $33,312.82 to representatives of the Tallapoosa County Girls Ranch. This amount was raised in the March 26 motorcycle ride and auction,topping the goal of $30,000.

In a ceremony prior to the start of this year’s Chambers County Sheriff’s Rodeo, a large facsimile check was presented by the Jason Fuller Group to ranch representatives out in the rodeo arena. Some of the girls who live on the ranch were there and cheered loudly when the big check was unveiled before a crowd of an estimated 3,000 people at the start of the Friday portion of the annual rodeo.

Ranch officials said the check will go a long way to covering the basic needs of the Ranch for most of the current year.

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Several hundred bikers took part in the recent Jason Fuller Memorial Ride. All 19 girls from the Ranch rode in a stretch Hummer provided by Tiger Limo in Auburn. The 64-mile ride started at King Ford in Valley, went north through Huguley, Lanett and West Point, past West Point Dam and Lake to County Road 278, where the route turned toward Standing Rock and Hickory Flat and took a left at Welch down Highway 431 through LaFayette to Opelika, ending at the American Legion on Highway 29 near the campus of Southern Union State Community College. Entry fees for the ride and proceeds from an afternoon auction generated funds for the Girls Ranch.

“We’d like to keep doing this as long as we are able to,” said ride organizer Candy Miles. “We will then leave it up to younger people who are coming along to keep the Jason Fuller Memorial Rides going.”

The Girls Ranch was a favorite cause of the late Captain Jason Fuller and remains a favorite cause for Sheriff Sid Lockhart and Sheriff’s Office personnel. The Tallapoosa County ranch is one of four youth ranches in Alabama sponsored by the Alabama Sheriff’s Association. There’s another girls ranch in Colbert County and boys ranches in Baldwin and St. Clair counties. These ranches are managed by a board of trustees. The mission of the youth ranches is to provide Christian, family-style residential homes for Alabama’s needy, neglected or abused school-age children in an atmosphere where they can grow spiritually and physically into productive, responsible and happy adults. The ranches have a theme that it’s better to raise strong kids that to mend broken adults.

The Tallapoosa County Girls Ranch opened on 1973 on property donated by James D. “Duck” Samford just across the Lee County line in rural Tallapoosa County. It has since grown into a fully-operating ranch where the girls living there have daily chores of taking care of cows, horses, goats, and chickens. They attend school in nearby Reeltown, go to local church services and participate in daily devotional programs.

Anyone who wants to make a donation to the Girls Ranch can go to amazon.com where there is a needs list for the ranch. Listed are common household items that help meet the daily needs of the girls and their house parents.